One of the great things about social media is that you can share all of your exploits and keep your friends and family up to date with the most recent happenings in your life. You can let your great uncle know about the really good sandwich that you’re about to eat, or share the fact that you’re really independent now and you don’t need anyone’s approval for anything. You can also use social media to show off your travel photos, to let everyone know how much fun you had on your trip.
There was a time when you had to round up friends and family after your vacation, sit them in your living room, and force them to watch a slideshow if you wanted to share your travel pictures. Now, you can get the people you know to sift through your vacation photos in their own living rooms before you even finish your trip.
Some people look through those photos and think, “It’s great that this person I know had an amazing trip, and I am happy for them!”. Other people look through those photos and think, “That trip looks amazing. I want them to die.” Travel envy is the feeling of jealousy or resentment of another person who goes on a trip. Social media makes it easy to share travel photos, which can often make people experience travel envy. They’re sitting at home, or at the office, looking at pictures of their cousin’s trip to Milan, or their high school buddy’s adventures in British Columbia, or their nemesis enjoying an ice cream cone on a pristine Hawaiian shore, and they think, “My life sucks”.
There are a few things to keep in mind about travel envy.
- It isn’t rational to get green because someone else is having fun.
- You too can go on an adventure and document your travels.
- Social media can be used to cultivate an image.
The life of your friend, family, or foe isn’t necessarily full of excitement and adventure. They may choose to share photos on the five occasions out of the year that they leave their house, and lead an undocumented humdrum life the rest of the time. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that social media is deceptive, it’s just that the information that is shared on social media can be selective.
This is important to think about when using social media for business. You have control over how your business is represented through social media, and you should use that to your advantage. You might be envying me right now, seeing the awesome photo I’m using on this post, but you probably don’t feel jealous of Haden Interactive.
Yet businesses sometimes resist posting their good news because they don’t want to boast. This can be an issue for individual social media, but for businesses, you can share a lot more good news before people begin to hate you for it.
If your business is involved with a charity, or you have environmentally friendly business practices, or you have tons of positive business reviews, you should share that information on social media. It’s fine to share pictures of your great staff retreat or to spotlight a worker you’re proud of, too. As long as your “Yipee! See how much fun we’re having!” doesn’t overshadow the useful information you share with your readers, they won’t hold it against you.
The internet increases business competition. You need to do everything that you can to stand above your competitors. A positive image on social media is just a part, but an important part, of a successful digital marketing plan.